Sunday, 3 May 2009

A Day Out with Wireless Access Point Geolocation

Last time, I blogged about what I was up to with wireless access geolocation. Now it's in a state where it's fit for consumption by the brave, so I've put it in the playground.

So why the blog title? Well, today I'm visiting some friends in Edinburgh, so I thought I'd test it out. When I got here, I updated the list of access points to include those visible from their house, fired up the LCD Weather Station plasma applet, and sure enough...:

Now, my location is tracked whether I'm at home, in the office, or visiting here - great! Anyone interested in this, I'd encourage you give the download a try. The README file that comes with it explains what to do - add your access point data to the CSV file it uses, and away you go.

Next step: a GUI to edit the list of known access points, and improving the location estimate using signal strength data.


  1. Excellent, can we now have the weather station show predictions rather than the current weather please.

  2. Is this using the geoclue service?

  3. Kevin - no, not yet. To start with I wanted to use an offline approach - a local cache of AP locations. Later down the line, it would be good to hook it in to the various web services, such as plazes (the WiFi backend provided by GeoClue) or WiGLE.

  4. @ behavedave: you really have no clue what you are talking about, do you?

    This is about geolocation, not weather. Weather tracking is just an example. Also, there are about half a dozen weather applets out there which already show forecasts. You really are annoyingly ungrateful.

    @ Andrew: This is mighty cool. I am on the road a lot and will definitely try it out.

  5. That's neat feature.
    I'd want to see it to be connected to OSM somehow - either in Marble, as proposed by Tackat in comment to your previous blogpost, or in OSMWidget that can be found on qt-apps - it's also used in the QNetAddressBook application, which helps storing info about different wi-fi access points. Have a look at it on
    Your service could be tied to that project very nicely as well as to Marble.

  6. This could be quite useful as a GeoClue position provider back-end. And actually, if your weather app used GeoClue, then you'd get location also via GPS and other sources depending on the device used.